Henry VIII, Testoon, 1544-7

A debasement of British coinage began in the third coinage of Henry VIII when his first testoons were struck. The debasement of coins helped to finance Henry’s wars but did not go unnoticed by his subjects. A contemporary writer, John Heywood, alludes several times to the debased coinage, as in the following:

“These Testoons looke redde, how like you the same?
’Tis a token of grace; they blush for shame.”